The '''American Colonization Society''' ('''ACS''') in full, ''The Society for the Colonization of Free People of Color of America'', established in 1816 by Robert Finley
of New Jersey
, was founded by groups otherwise opposed to each other on the issue of slavery.
[[http://personal.denison.edu/~waite/liberia/history/acs.htm "The American Colonization Society".]]
The ACS intended to support the colonization of free African Americans
because their presence served as "a perpetual excitement" to the enslaved blacks and threatened the slave societies of the South. All of the early organizers of the Society were slaveholders; according to annual reports of the Society, they hoped in this effort to strengthen the institution of slavery in the United States
. It helped to found the colony
in 1821–22 on the coast of West Africa as a place for free-born American blacks. Among its supporters were Charles Fenton Mercer